28.10.2016 - 28.10.2016
I never thought I would say this but I am actually looking forward to getting back to cold, wet, miserable England! A day of drizzle would be amazing right now as we enter the South African summer. Going to bed sweating and waking up sweating in 40 degree heat isn't great but I think I am slowly getting used it. The Saturday after I wrote my last blog we had a team outing to a luxury lodge called Copa Copa where we had an amazing lunch and spent the afternoon in the pool. It was divine! They even had a shower, which after weeks of bathing in a bucket, was heavenly!
Another week of hard worked started again on the Monday as we began to clear the land for the Jungly Gym and collect wood for tippy taps. Tippy taps are where bottles of water are attached to a wooden structure and can be tipped using a foot leaver. They are easy ways for children to get water and are going to be placed around the land where we organise the children's activities. At the moment there are no water taps on this land and the children either have to bring their own water or not drink at all. Having no access to water when they are trying to learn or take part in activities in the baking sun isn't ideal so these taps will really make a difference.
By Wednesday we had cleared the land for the Jungle Gym and started to move the tyres up to the site so we could mark out the area. Thursday was a hot day spent digging holes for the tyres and placing them round the site. To be honest the boys did a lot of the work while us UK girls attempted to cook on an open fire. We had a bit of help from Sne to get the fire going and it took us a bit longer than usual to cook the chicken but we got there eventually and managed to not only make a edible meal but a tasty one at that!
We finished placing the tyres on Friday morning and by Friday afternoon the kids were bouncing all over them. I think they would be happy if we just left it at that and didn't add anything else! We couldn't add anything else this week as we were still waiting to receive the money for the materials from Zoe-Life. This arrived today so hopefully next week the Jungle Gym will start to take shape.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending a local wedding. Teboho and Emmanuel are staying with the local pastor who has been with his wife for 39 years but they'd only had a traditional wedding. So this event was to celebrate their 39 years together but also for them to get legally married. It was a great event albeit very very long and hot! After two hours of family and friends speaking about the pastor and his wife, another pastor got up to deliver the sermon. By this time we were all very hungry so when the pastor said he was going to deliver a short sermon, we all heaved a sigh of relief. An hour and a half later the pastor finished his 'short' sermon! And then we still had all the toasts, the cutting of the cake and the offering to the happy couple to get through before we could eat. By the time we got food we would have probably eaten absolutely anything! The menu consisted of beef (two cows had been killed for the occasion), fried chicken, pap and coleslaw - all of which we had to eat using just our hands. After the food there was some incredible traditional dancing and music. It was an amazing spectacle to see and I was privileged to be a guest.
On Monday we took part in a Youth Dialogue event which had been organised by Deon, the leader of our organisation. The young women of the village came to cook for the event and even let us help them make the Pap. Pap is just maize and water but takes quite a while to make and has to be stirred a certain way. I don't think the girls were too impressed with our help as we were soon relieved of our duties. The event saw about 20 young people from the community come together and learn about how they can bring change to their local community. It was run by an organisation called Activate which aims to encourage young people to become leaders in their community. It is great to see that such schemes are reaching these young people and that the knowledge about how they can make a positive difference within their community and country is being clearly communicated and encouraged.
On Tuesday and Thursday, Teboho and I go and check on the community vegetable gardens. Various members of the community are taking part in a garden scheme where there are provided with the seeds and knowledge to grow their own vegetables. Teboho and I have to check how the gardens are getting on, whether they are being tended to properly and whether the owner needs more seeds. Obviously a big problem here is the lack of water but it is great to see that there is the potential for life and that the local people are determined to look after these gardens despite the odds being stacked against them.
Next week we will hopefully be starting the Jungle Gym and starting to plan a Colour Run which we would like to do with the children to teach them about the importance of hygiene. Life is always made better by a little bit of colour!